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The Alaska daily empire. [volume] (Juneau, Alaska) 1912-1926, February 03, 1917, Image 1

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84020657/1917-02-03/ed-1/seq-1/

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AMERICAN VESSEL IS TORPEDOED
LONDON, Feb. 3.?It was officially announced tonight that the American Steamship Housatonic has been sunk by a German
Submarine.
THE ALASKA DAILY EMPIRE
"ALL THE NEWS ALL THE TIME'
VOL. IX, NO. 1311. JUNEAU, ALASKA, SATURDAY. FEBRUARY 3, 1917. PRICE TEN CENTS
UNITED STATES ON VERGE OF WAR WITH
HISTORIC PRECEDENTS PRESSING HER ON
. t . 1 (
PRESIDENT WILL ASK FOR
DECLARATION OF WAR IN
CASE OF OVERT ACT AGAINST
AMERICAN LIVES OR RIGHTS
WASHINGTON Feb. 3. ? Announcement was
made before the joint session of Congress at two
o'clock this afternoon that the United States stands
on the verge of war with all historic precedents of
the centuries pressing her forward.
Fervently invoking the guidance of Almighty God in the
step he had taken. President Wilson detailed to Congress
why the United States could not continue relations with a
warring power which repeatedly invades our sacred rights and
takes the lives of our citizens.
Calm with a sense of righi in what may prove the most
somber moment in American history, the President stood in
the historic hall of the House of Representatives, and with
Senators and Representatives before him. spoke words which
may carry the country into the world conflict, not for aggres
sion, and not for power, but only for law and humanity. Si
lent and attentive the grim company of the Nation's law
makers listened with rapt attention while President Wilson
told of America's course in the now unsuccessful diplomatic
struggle to dissuade Germany from her campaign of ruthless
nesa. In concluding his address. President Wilson declared that
he could not even now believe that Germany intends any overt
acts against American citizens, hut that if overt acts are
forthcoming he will again come before Congress and ask
authority to use any means that may be necessary for the pro
tection of our seamen and our people. All neutral governments
be believed, will take the same course.
MAY AWAIT OVERT ACT
WASHINGTON, Fob. .{..?That the President of the Unit
ed States will not ask the United States Congress to declare
war against Germany unless some overt act contrary to the law
of Nations should be committed against American citizens.
American ships or American rights was clearly indicated in
the address of President Woodrow Wilson delivered to the Con
gress this afternoon, but that he will ask for such a declaration
in case of such an overt act was also clearly indicated,.
The President appeared before Congress sharply .at twe
o'clock this afternoon, and announced the action that had beer
taken, and discussed the situation looking towards the future.
He said in part:
"If American lives or American ships should in fact be
sacrificed in heedless contravenation of the just and reasonable
understanding of international law and the obvious dictates of
humanity. I shall take the liberty of again coming before Con
gress to that authority be given me to use any means that
may be necessary for the protection of our people in the prose
cution of their peaceful and legitimate errands on the high seas.
I can do nothing less. I take it for granted that all neutral
governments will take the same course.
REVIEWS HISTORY OF NEGOTIATIONS
The President reviewed at great lenth the negotiations be
tween the United States and Germany relative to submarine
warfare, and laid before Congress all the correspondence that
had passed between the two countries, including the President's!
ultimatum of April 18, 1915, wherein the President notified the
German government that if American rights were invaded
through the unlawful acts of the German naval warfare that
this country would sever diplomatic relations with her, and in
cluding Germany's assurance of May 16, 1916, that she would
respect the rights of Americans on the high seas.
GERMANY LEAVES AMERICA NO OTHER COURSE
The President said that Germany's deliberate withdrawal
of her solemn assurance, given May 16, 1916, leaves this gov-1
emment no alternative consistent with the dignity and honor
of the United States but which it announced it would do in its
note of April 18. If the German government did not abandon
its methods of submarine warfare," he continued: ."Notwith-i
standing this unexpected action of the German government, this j
sudden, deeply deplorable renunciation of its assurance given
this government at one of the most critical moments of tension
in the relatinos of the governments, I refuse to believe that it
is the intention of the German authorities to do in fact what
they have notified the United States.they will feel at liberty-;
to do. I cannot bring myself to believe that they will indeed
pay no regarV to the ancient friendship between their people
and our owV. or to solemn obligations which have been . ex- 1
changed between them, and destrpy American ships and take
the lives of American citizens in the willful prosecution of the j
ruthless naval program they have announced their intentions
(Contlnnrd on pngo Two)
DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS BROKEN
WITH GERMANY AND BERNSTORFF
HANDED PASSPORTS, GERARD IS
INSTRUCTED TO QUIT BERLIN
WASHINGTON, Feb. 3.?Diplomatic relations witli Germany have
been broken off and German Ambassador von Bernstorff has been handed
his passports. United States Ambassador Alfred W. Gerard, at Ber
lin, has been ordered by the United States government from Berlin.
The above was the startling announcement issued early this fore
uoon. Following quickly on the announcement of the breaking off
jf the diplomatic relations it was further announced that President
Wilson would address a joint session of the United States Congress on
'.he submarine question at two o'clock this afternoon.
Whether the diplomatic break with Germany will be accompan
ied by a similar break with Austria-Hungary could not be learned
lefinitcly. Inasmuch as Austria-Hungary is understood to have en
dorsed the action of Germany on unrestricted warfare, a break is ex
pccstcd to follow, if it has not already been taken.
PRESIDENT RESOLVED ON "BREAK" YESTERDAY.
When President Wilson returned from the Capitol Building late
yesterday he had apparently made up his mind that nothing remained
but the breaking off of relations at once. During the three hours the
President was at the Capitol lie was in conference with members of all
foreign committees and those high in the councils of the administration.
The President early last evening began preparing his address which
was delivered to Congress this afternoon.
SAFEGUARDING OF NATIONAL INTERESTS.
No announcement of the break was made at the White House, and
that was reserved for disclosure to the public through other channels.
This morning when it was officially announced that the break had oc
curred. however, all of the machinery of the United States govern
ment was set in motion to safeguard national interests and further pre
pare the country for the unprecedented and momentous situation in
which it r.ow finds itself.
PRESIDENT CONFIDENT COUNTRY BEHIND HIM.:
Confident that the sentiment of the entire country is behind him
and assured of the united support of Congress, President Wilson finally
:amc to the conclusion to break relations with Germany and which
brings the United States on the verge of War.
Never in the history of the world have two first class powers sev
ered their diplomatic relations without hostilities following.
The President in taking the momentous step has counted the conse
quences carefully as has all of his advisors.
Germany and all of her officials have openly said that they had
counted the cost of the break with the United States and was pre
pared to pay it in the hope of shortening the war.
INSTRUCTIONS SENT TO GERARD.
Washington. Feb. 3.?The instructions sent to Ambassador Gerard
ire for him to close his embassy as well as all consulates in Germany,
ill embassy attaches, consuls, and consular agents and their staffs are
I to be brought out of Germany. This makes the severance of relations
more complete than is usual in such cases.
BERNSTORFF TURNS EMBASSY OVER TO SWISS.
Washington, Feb. 3.?German Ambassador von Bernstorff turned
the German embassy in the United States over to the Swiss embassy,
after being: handed his passports.
To questions asked him von Bernstorff replied: "I am only a
private citizen. I have no right to talk for my government now as a
private citizen. I have never desired to talk."
Von Bernstorff said this afternoon that lie did not know the
manner of his leaving the United States or what steps would be tahen.
It is thought doubtful by some of the Ententes that he will be granted
any such safe passage as granted to the Austrian ambassador. In
that event von Bernstorff might choose to go to South America o- to
Mexico.
FIVE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS FOR PREPAREDNESS.
Washington. Feb. 3.?Senator Charles S. Thomas, of Colorado, to*
\lay introduced an amendment to the House bill proposing $500,000,000
non-interest bearing treasury notes issued to put the nation in a
"state of naval and military preparedness."
ALL UNITED STATES NAVAL STATIONS CLOSED TODAY.
Washington, Feb. 3.?All naval stations in the United States were
barred today to all save naval officials and the employees.
UNITED STATES MAKES DEMAND ON GERMANY.
Washington. Feb. 3.?The United States has formally demanded
of Germany the immediate release of Americans who were taken pris
oners on the prize ships captured by the German raiders in the South
Atlantic.
CREWS OF INTERNED SHIPS TO BE TAKEN OFF.
Newport News, Feb. 3.?The Coast Guard Cutter Yamacraw has
(Continued on Page Eipiht)
? JAM?S V GLRARD ?
United States Ambassador to Ger
many who this forenoon was in
structed to close the United States
Embassy at Berlin and leave 'hat
; country.
COUNTRY STANDS
BEHIND WILSON
IN GREAT CRISIS
WASHINGTON. Feb. 3. ? That
President Wilson's course in sever
ing diplomatic relations with Ger
many has met with the enthusiastic
approval of Senator and Represen
tatives of all parties and the peo
ple and press of the United States
was clearly indicated by the state
ments made everywhere by every
body and the dispatches that arc
pouring into the capital from ail
points of the compass.
ONLY THING TO DO.
"It was the only thing that
could be done.' said Senator-George
j E. Chamberlain, of Oregon, chair
man of the Senate military affairs
committee.
"We must now look out for some-1
thing like Dewey at Manila." re
marked Senator Morris Sheppard. of
Texas.
"The President has done the only j
thing that any self-respecting na-1
tion could do." said Senator James!
A. Reed, of Missouri.
"WE TAKE NO PASSES." SAYS
TILLMAN.
Senator Benjamin R. Tillman, o:
South Carolina, chairman of the
(Continued on Page KIght )
PRESIDENT WOO PROW WILSON
Chief executive of the United Mates, the man be
hind whom is assured united support. President Wil
son today came to the conclusion that there was only
one course to pursue in the present crisis, that was to
break off diplomatic relations with Germany.
AMERICANS SUPPORT THE PRESIDENT.
In giving the German Ambassador liis passports and directing that
Vmbarsndor Gerard close the American embassy at Berlin and all the
, American cosulates in Germany and to request passports for himself and
jther Americans in the German Empire, President Wilson is acting in
accord with tin- highest American traditions. For 127 years of history
under the Constitution the United States has stood steadfastly for the
freedom of the high mas. In that cause was fought our naval con
flict with France in the closing days of the eighteenth century, our war
with Tripollan pirates in the .Jefferson administration" and the War ol
1812 with Great Uritalju if ncceeeary we will light Germany in the
same euuse. \
President Wilson has struggled for months to secure the recogni
tion of the rights of neutrals on the high seas through peaceful means,
and more than once he received assurances from Germany that they
would be recognized. But Germany has at las't thrown away her mask,
and announced that she will make indiscriminate warfare, against neu
trals in the exercise of their rights on the sea as well as against
her enemies in war. President Wilson had given fair warning that
such a course would cause a severance of diplomatic,relations between the
two nations. This morning he made good his .ultimatum, and behind
his act there stands every true American no matter his politics or ro
I ligion or the place of residence.
DEUTSCHLAND IS NOW DUE; RETURN CARGO IS ON FIRE
_ J a ? y
NEW LONDON, Feb. 3.?The cargo intended for the German submarine Dcutschland, which is ex
pected momentarily, was in flames at 11 o'clock this morning. The fire in the warehouse where the freight
j was stored, broke out soon after word was received that diplomatic relations were severed with Ger
many. The cargo was stored onlySOO feet from the interned German steamship Willehad.

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